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PICO RIVERA, Calif. (CBSMiami) – A major movie chain is looking to change the way families enjoy the movies, by adding jungle gyms to the theaters.

Climbing, swinging and sliding aren’t usually what you do at the movie theatre but Cinepolis, the world’s 4th largest theater chain, spent a million dollars to upgrade two Southern California theaters, creating a family space that caters to kids.

They invited some families to try it out before the grand opening.

Young movie goer Ethan Garcia said his favorite part was “the fast slide.” Another participant said, “I think my favorite part was the climbing of things and the slide.”

Kids can explore the playground for twenty minutes before the movie starts.

But come show time, the jungle gym is closed and monitored by a theater attendant during the entire movie.

Young Ethan thought that was a little bit awkward.

Although movie theatre revenue is up, nearly 11.3 billion dollars last year mostly due to higher ticket prices, the number of tickets sold has declined since 2002.

Several theater chains have attempted to bring customers back by adding high-end dining and alcohol, luxury recliners, and 4-D experiences with moving seats and special effects.  Industry experts say rising costs and better technology at home are prompting families to stay on the couch.

But for special occasions, parents say the pre-theatre playground could still be a lot of fun.

“It makes it that much more memorable for the kids,” said mother Heather Spohr.

For now, tickets to the theater will cost a dollar more than a regular ticket.

The playgrounds are only in theaters that show kid friendly movies.


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